MISS KOPP JUST WON'T QUIT by Amy Stewart
Kirkus Star

MISS KOPP JUST WON'T QUIT

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Stewart’s intrepid deputy sheriff is back (Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions, 2017, etc.), this time enmeshed in a 1916 local election with uncomfortable contemporary resonance.

Sheriff Heath, Constance Kopp’s liberal-minded mentor and defender at the Hackensack County Jail, is reluctantly running for Congress because he’s term-limited by New Jersey law. Odious John Courter, running to succeed Heath, attacks his record at every opportunity, including most particularly the “Troublesome Lady Policeman Who Frees Lunatics from Asylum.” The “lunatic” is Anna Kayser, committed by her husband for the fourth time on what seem to Deputy Kopp very flimsy grounds. Indeed, she soon learns that Mr. Kayser has his wife put away every time he wants to play house with a new girlfriend. Constance gets Anna a lawyer, one of the many feisty women with whom Stewart’s unabashedly feminist series is populated, and justice might even triumph in this case. The main plot concerns the increasingly ugly election, and Constance probably won’t be the only one who flinches when Sheriff Heath optimistically tells her, “A man who does nothing but cast out hate and blame couldn’t possibly be elected to office.” As before, Stewart bases much of the story on actual events (carefully documented in endnotes), with generous fictional embroidery to elaborate the stories of Constance’s Popular Science–loving sister, Norma, currently working to convince the Army it needs carrier pigeons, and their putative baby sister (actually Constance’s illegitimate daughter), Fleurette, who has aspirations as a performer but at the moment is a seamstress for a Fort Lee movie studio. The looming threat of World War I adds to the dark tone, but the military training camp at Plattsburg offers all three Kopp women a fresh start after the dispiriting election results. Constance may just have turned 40, but this tough-minded, generous-hearted believer in second chances and equal rights for women looks set for many more adventures.

A welcome addition to this sui generis series, always fresh thanks to its vividly imagined characters firmly grounded in historical fact.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-328-73651-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2018




Kirkus Interview
Amy Stewart
September 8, 2015

In her first novel Girl Waits With Gun, Amy Stewart, who’s well-known for her nonfiction, crafts a solid, absorbing novel based on real-life events—though they’re unusual enough to seem invented. Constance Kopp and her sisters, Norma and Fleurette, are driving into Paterson, New Jersey, on a summer day in 1914 when a motor car rams them, splintering their buggy and mildly injuring all three women and their horse. Drunken lout Henry Kaufman thinks that owning a local silk manufacturer entitles him to ignore Constance’s reasonable request that he pay for the damages, but he’s misjudged his opponent. As Constance’s first-person narrative unfolds, we see that she’s a bold woman unafraid to defy convention, determined to see justice done and to protect her family. “More adventures involving gutsy Constance, quietly determined Sheriff Heath, and a lively cast of supporting characters would be most welcome,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >

MORE BY AMY STEWART

MysteryMISS KOPP'S MIDNIGHT CONFESSIONS by Amy Stewart
by Amy Stewart
MysteryLADY COP MAKES TROUBLE  by Amy Stewart
by Amy Stewart
FictionGIRL WAITS WITH GUN by Amy Stewart
by Amy Stewart

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

MysteryBRUSH BACK by Sara Paretsky
by Sara Paretsky
FictionTHE GODS OF GOTHAM by Lyndsay Faye
by Lyndsay Faye
FictionMANHATTAN BEACH by Jennifer Egan
by Jennifer Egan